By Jaheim Jones and Destiny Vara
The grand unveiling of an art installation by a renowned local artist will be presented in early December for the entire school. The massive installation of 28 panels will be hung on the outside walls of the courtyard. Students and staff will notice large, covered panels throughout the courtyard, in anticipation for the big reveal. But what’s behind the panels are a masterpiece inspired by the ideas from our very own East High students.
Local artist Shawn Dunwoody has painted these mural panels for our school, based on students’ voice about leaders and activists that reflect their ethnicity and culture. Dunwoody has painted several graffiti-style murals around the city of Rochester, including the “piano keys” on the intersection of East Main and Gibbs Street. The theme for the murals in the East High courtyard is inspired by the book Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston and is a culturally relevant project designed to bring the community together.
Dunwoody states, “Creativity inspires and plays on our curiosity. This inspiration makes people want to hear more, learn more, and engage more.” Some of the significant figures in world history that will be depicted in the murals include Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, and Frida Kahlo, just to name a few. So keep an eye on the courtyard to see the grand reveal of this exciting, inspiring Dunwoody mural of our very own.
Top 10% of Senior Class Honored
By Elisha Jenkins
East High School honored 14 students that are in the top 10% of the senior class on Friday, November 1st in our Collaboratorium. East High School has a tradition every year to recognize the seniors for all their hard work. Counselor Ms. Burnell states, “Each year the counselors enjoy recognizing their students. It’s their favorite thing to look forward to in the new school year.” The weighted GPA ranges roughly from 4-5.
The students are, in order from 1 to 14: Joanays Gonzalez, Karen Montero, Amina Gazali, Aroma Dulal, Mira Rai, Elisha Jenkins, Kaori Barley, John Long, Najee Davis, Joshua Figueroa, Bria Adams, Suemoddy Handy, Emmanuel Montero, and Alondra Matos.
Senior Joanays Gonzalez states, “I don't feel different; I didn’t know I was number one.” Also senior Elisha Jenkins states, “I honestly didn’t know I was in the top 10% of the senior class. But when I found out that I was very excited. I knew I was in the top 30 of my class but never would have thought of being in the top 10.” Even though the seniors don't get any reward for being in the top 10% of the class we should still proud of making it this far and being where we are.
RCSD Enforces New Social Media Policy
By Amina Hassan
Rochester City School District (RCSD) has set new guidelines for teachers and students to follow involving social media. Students and teachers are not allowed to be friends on social websites such as Facebook. If a student or parent was to request to friend a teacher, teachers are to ignore the request. Teachers are not allowed to have communication with students on personal social media sites anymore. If a teacher is to disobey this policy they will have consequences.
This policy comes with many benefits. It ensures that there are no inappropriate interactions between students and teachers. Teachers are prohibited from using social media sites to communicate about a student that has nothing to do with school. Dr. Bak says she agrees with this policy because it is not okay for a teacher and student to be friends; it's unprofessional. East High student Aroma Dual disagrees with the policy. She says, “It is sometimes very difficult to contact a teacher and social media is a way to stay in touch.” East High teacher Gavin Jenkins agrees with the policy, but believes that professional learning accounts can be a great way to keep scholars and families up to date with what is happening in class.
By Joshua Figueroa
The perfect attendance award is not only pertinent for students’ success but builds positive habits to benefit the students in their lifetime. For instance, perfect attendance awards help students develop positive habits that can benefit them later in life, such as being punctual at a workplace. Another benefit of recognizing perfect attendance is that it helps build self confidence in students as well as the desire to maintain perfect attendance. Positive Behavior Incentive System (PBIS) were created to promote a positive culture within schools, but also it was mainly used in the elementary schools as a way to build good habits as both a student and as a person. This year rewards are given out weekly for perfect attendance, some of the rewards are $5 gift cards which are raffled for every student, certificates and also clothing is given as a reward to. PBIS systems are good for giving kids a reason to want to improve in school, which is why these positive systems are used outside of elementary schools and even in high schools more. In conclusion, the rewards for perfect attendance have a positive impact on the students individually and the culture of the students in the school as a whole.
East High Enforces Hall Sweeps
By Tahaara Gazali
One of the issues the staff, teachers, and administrators face is students wandering hallways either because they are skipping or hanging out. As a result students are coming in late to class. The problem with students coming in late is that they miss out on the introduction to the lesson. Many administrators like Ms. Kankam feel that the hall sweeps quickens students’ steps and many get to their classes faster. Ms. Kankam states, “The reasons why we have hall sweeps is to encourage students to get to class on time.” She goes on to say, “We give students one warning and after that they get sent to ISS. I personally think that although there might be pressure put on students it’s a good pressure because we are trying to instill the concept of moving quicker we want to get our students ready for the real world and teach them time is one of the first priorities in life.”
On the other hand, some students strongly feel that hall sweeps result in harsh punishments and are unfair to a certain degree. Senior Ho Mach says, “I think that hall sweeps are beneficial sometimes because it reminds kids the consequences that will follow up with getting caught on halls.” He also says, “I feel that hall sweeps are too big of a punishment because it pressures us kids and I feel there is no need for it.” In addition, Senior Jaheim Jones states, “as a senior I feel that it's unfair to us because many of us have a half school day or fewer classes and getting caught in halls is treating us like we are criminals.” These students feel that hall sweeps adds pressure and stress onto their shoulders.
Moreover, teachers and administrators feel very happy with the improvements that have come as a result of hall Sweeps. It’s obvious that students care about the consequences. Students are coming to class quicker even if they have to run. Administrator Kankam says that they are working hard to make things easier for both teachers and students. She also said that there are fewer students who get caught in hall sweeps repeatedly and everyone is running to get to class on time. The goal of East High is to make hall sweeps a tool that is beneficial to teachers and students.
By Adelisa Badzic
RCSD students have been negatively affected for the first marking period in terms of advocating for themselves. The very useful site, Parentconnect has been removed and shut down. Parentconnect was a site where students and even parents can log on and check on the scholar’s grades. For the first marking period, it was very difficult for scholars to know where they were in what classes.
Junior, Adriana Rivas also felt she could not support herself with the information she needed without a teacher being present. This is hard for some of our students who do not have a support period, and don’t have time between classes. It was also difficult for teachers to run reports to show students their grades. One of the teachers stated, “The new system is slow and not as user friendly as the old one. It would have been an easier adjustment if it rolled out at the end of last year (if we were trained in it) so we were ready to go at the start of this year. It was hard to juggle learning a new system with the demands of beginning a new year.”
Now to start off the 2nd quarter, students can access the new website called Blackboard. The link is http://rcsdk12.parentlink.net/. Once you get onto the site, click to sign in with google, select your 890 account then proceed to reset your password. Once completed, your grades should appear. If anybody needs help with that feel free to see Ms. Zurlo first thing in the mornings at phone collection.
A Year in Review
By Alisa Pirko
The yearbook captures our best moments from the school year. It’s important for seniors because it captures the most memorable and fun times of our last high school year. It gives us a look back at our last moments in high school with our friends.
Although most students weren’t aware, we came very close to not having a yearbook this year. No teachers wanted to step forward and organize the yearbook this year. Mrs. Conroy ran the yearbook here for 4 year. She says, “It's so much work. It takes so much planning and organization to produce the yearbook. For example you need pictures of every event and every student and staff member. Then there’s saving, sorting, organizing, editing and laying out pictures. Not to mention the bookkeeping and actually selling enough books.” The yearbook is so important for students, especially the seniors, because they want something that will have memories from their last year in high school. For example we want to remember prom, pep rallies, sport teams and clubs. But students need to step up and help.
Literacy teacher Ms. Townsend will be the yearbook advisor at East this year so will have a yearbook. Townsend says, “I chose to do the yearbook for three reasons. I did it years ago at my other school and I was familiar with it. I love taking pictures and making memories. Also I wanted to make sure the seniors had a collection of memories from this year.” Ms. Townsend needs more students for the yearbook club and if you want to join speak to her. She also plans on taking pictures on upcoming events and if anyone has pictures from past events she asks that they will be sent to her.
Winter Sports and the New Requal System
By Jacai Sanders
The new electronic NYS requalification system is a very peculiar way of getting qualified for athletics. The system becomes in effect during the winter sports and most people hate this new idea. They hate it because it consumes a lot of time and it may get confusing at times. In fact the only people that favors this new idea are the coaches and the people of higher power. Those people feel that it’s more convenient than the old paper copy system. Since everything is run through technology nowadays, it does make sense to not use the paper copy system anymore.
Even though the new requal system is questionable, the future of East Highs winter sports programs isn’t. The basketball teams are looking like championship contenders already. The Indoor track team is taking strides towards getting back to winning. Also the wrestling, bowling, and swimming teams are looking poised for success. The season has just begun so no one is trying to get their hopes up this early, and all of the coaches and athletes on the teams knows that there is still a lot of work to be done before the games begin. Just be sure to get your requal done on time.
By Ho Mach
During the month of November, there was a digital music showcase revealed what was going on in the Music Technology classes. The showcase explains the steps and processes of making a cover song, with each student having different tracks. It showed the instruments they used and Mixcraft 7, the software scholars utilized to make every cover song one of a kind. While the Advanced class fully manages their time to make the beats and cover of the music, the Intro class was learning the software and how to use it. Some students even used keyboards to make their songs sound truly excellent.
Music teacher Mr. Weber said there were some obstacles and setbacks. He mentioned that there was a difficulty with the software and some cover songs did not save right. There was a balance of doing the actual job and not doing it, which some students find it hard to keep track of. Some songs had vocals and others did not, which was an optional decision. Another point Mr. Weber made was that he began this to showcase to tell East High what was going on in Music Technology. The music showcase showed many people the talents the student have and that any kid can make a great cover song. It truly was a fun learning experience.
Food Pantry Helps Support Scholars
By Lora Thomas
East High School has opened a food pantry to help out scholars who are in need of food. The food pantry allows students to come down to B114-A to get the food that they need, especially with the holidays approaching. The food pantry is located right outside of the cafeteria and across from the main office copy room. The food pantry also helps with getting personal hygiene for people who may need it or don't have it at all.'
What really helps out the food pantry is donations, Foodlink, and fundraising. Scholar can access the food pantry by self-reference and teacher can refer them. If you see that a scholar is hungry or talks about how they don’t have enough for at home, you can kindly show them to B114-A in a comfortable manner and at an appropriate time. Scholars can take whatever they need. Unfortunately the food pantry does not provide snacks. It is more meant for people who need food and hygiene items.
The food pantry can be used whenever a scholar feels the need to get something for home. The pantry is run by Mr. Jason Taylor. The food pantry donations can be made to room B114-B. They are always looking for donation of canned goods, fruits, vegetables, cereal anything that would be helpful to children in need.
Mr. Taylor says, “It is very hard to be the version of yourself when you’re hungry and don’t know where your next meal is coming from.” He also says that helping our children makes him “feel good to positively contribute to a school where people can really care about each other.”